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Buckingham Cruises In Hoops Season Opener

The Buckingham County High School boys basketball team didn't look like a team that was playing just the first game of its season in a 75-35 rout of James River District foe Nottoway on Tuesday night in Buckingham.

“Nottoway has been playing for a little while now, and for us it was our first game,” said Buckingham head coach Russ Gowin, who had to juggle the front part of the schedule because of the playoff run by the football team. “You're always concerned how that first game is going to go. By the time we were ready to scrimmage, everyone else was already into their season.”

It turns out that Gowin didn't have to worry. Buckingham played with almost playoff intensity from the start, and took control of the game early. The Knights led 22-8 at the end of the first quarter, and extended their advantage to 38-19 at the intermission.

“I was pleased with our intensity,” said Gowin. “We got after them early. I was especially pleased with our defense.”

Buckingham removed any doubt about a Nottoway comeback in the third quarter, as the Knights extended their lead to 58-24 at the end of the period.

“We had some really good runs, and we made a couple of mistakes, that we'll have to work on, but overall, eighteen turnovers is a little high, but you expect to see those things this time of year.”

Junior Cam Johnson led the Knights with 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds and two steals.

Senior Tarian Ayers nearly missed out on a triple-double. He had 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, while LA Briley had ten points and seven assists.

Buckingham was 30-56 from the field (54 percent), 3-10 (30 percent) from three-point range, and 12-24 (50 percent) at the foul line.

“Everyone got to play. That always makes the next practice go better, but we're going to have our work cut out for us this weekend.”

Buckingham is participating in the Call Me Mister Tournament this weekend with Prince Edward, Cumberland and Park View.

The Knights will play Prince Edward in the 6 p.m. game with Cumberland and Park View to follow.

The four teams will square off on Saturday with the consolation game beginning at noon, and the championship to follow.

“This is going to be a tough test. Prince Edward isn't as big as it has been, but they'll defense you to death. We'll have to be ready for that and force a quick tempo.

“Right now, we're a work in progress, but have excellent senior leadership, and we're doing the right things, having fun and just trying to get to where we're playing our best basketball by February.”